Difference between revisions of "Root Password Reset"

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m (Fritz moved page Debian reset root password to Root Password Reset: The article is not Debian specific)
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Revision as of 12:16, 8 October 2016

Resetting the root account password on Debian (or any account password)

This has been tested and is known to work with Debian versions 6, 7, and 8. It can also be used to change any account password.

Method 1

  • Boot into grub, select single user but do not press enter.
  • Press e to go into edit mode.
  • Scroll down to the kernel line, it starts with "linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6……."
  • Scroll to the end of that line and press space key once and type init=/bin/bash
  • Press Ctrl X to boot
# Remount / as Read/Write 
mount -rw -o remount /

# Change the root account password with

# Change any other account password with
passwd username

# type new password, confirm and hit enter and then reboot.

Method 2

  • Boot from another installation of Debian. (One can use a LiveCD to get access to the "/" partition.)
  • Then, mount the partition where you have Debian's "/" (root directory), then change directory to /mnt/etc
  • Used vim / nano as an editor to edit the file shadow.
  • Find the line starting with root: (or another username)
  • Delete everything between the first and second colons (:), and the line will now look like:
  • Reboot and login as root (or another username as used above) without a password.
  • At the end use passwd to set a new password for the root account (or passwd username to change any account password).
  • Reboot and login as root with the new root password.

Method for OpenVZ containers

  • Enter the working container and change the password using:
vzctl enter <VEID>
passwd <new password>